How To (Safely) Make Home-Canned Pumpkin or Winter Squash

| 10/9/2015 10:27:00 AM

Tags: pumpkin, winter squash, canning, food preservation, Carole Cancler, Washington,


Blissful fall dinner: squash gnocchi served with meat stew.

Can you make canned pumpkin puree safely at home? The short answer is no. Canning is not a safe method for preserving mashed pumpkin, pumpkin puree, or pumpkin butter.

USDA laboratory testing has not been able to establish a consistent, safe processing time for preserving any type of mashed pumpkin product by canning. Since 1989, the USDA has recommended against canning mashed pumpkin products, even though many older publications offer these instructions.

However, you can make home canned pumpkin cubes, as well as canned cubes of any type of hard winter squash. Yields can vary greatly from one variety of squash to another, as well as your preparation and canning skill. Estimate an average of 2¼ pounds squash per quart. Select hard rind varieties of squash, such as acorn, butternut, carnival, kabocha, or sugar pie pumpkins are ideal for home canned pumpkin or winter squash. Spaghetti squash is not suitable for canning since it breaks down and becomes pulpy.


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